September 10, 2020
Patrick T. Collins, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Chair of its Labor & Employment Law Practice Group, has been appointed the Chair of the Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) HR Roundtable.
“I am honored to lead this group of exceptional professionals in Somerset County’s HR industry. As a long-time resident, I look forward to continuing to contribute to this community and the SCBP is the perfect outlet to do so,” said Collins.
The SCBP is the premier business resource in Central New Jersey. A member-driven organization, this enhanced Chamber of Commerce, with Four-star Accreditation through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, speaks with a powerful, unified, and dynamic voice representing many vital interests in Somerset County. A diverse composition of investors and members allows the SCBP to integrate the agendas of many organizations working toward similar economic, educational, and quality of life goals.
The HR Roundtable provides an opportunity to discuss hot topics with an experienced employment law attorney and other experts in an informal setting that allows participants to grow as professionals and add value to their business at the same time. It is meant for human resources professionals responsible for overseeing personnel issues within their companies, seeking a local support system of peers, hoping to stay ahead of the constantly evolving, complex labor and employment laws and regulations.
A resident of Branchburg, Collins practices labor, employment, and personnel law on behalf of employers and management. He is experienced in all areas of litigation in both federal and state courts, defending discrimination and sexual harassment claims, wrongful discharge and whistleblower suits, and claims brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act and the multitude of other civil rights and anti-discrimination laws. In addition, Collins represents parties in breach of contract claims, and in actions involving unfair competition, restrictive covenants, and confidentiality agreements.
Collins has appeared before state human rights agencies throughout the country, as well as the EEOC, the National Labor Relations Board, and various wage and hour agencies. He has represented employers in numerous labor grievance/arbitration proceedings, and in a variety of other matters relating to the unionization of employees and collective bargaining. He has also worked extensively with employers on public works contracts to ensure compliance with prevailing wage laws.
Much of Collins’ practice concentrates on counseling employers in making workplace decisions that will reduce or avoid entirely the risk of litigation. He regularly counsels his clients on matters concerning independent contractors and contingent workers, employment policies, employee discipline and terminations, reductions in workforce, and plant closings. Collins has conducted sexual harassment investigations and employment law audits, as well as drafted numerous employee handbooks and substance abuse and workplace privacy policies. He has also conducted management and employee training and legal compliance sessions in a variety of areas, including the performance appraisal process and anti-harassment.
Collins is a member of the American Bar Association, the New Jersey State Bar Association, and their Labor & Employment Sections, as well as the Somerset County Bar Association. He sits on the Board of Directors for the Legal Services of Northwest New Jersey and is a former member of the Supreme Court of New Jersey’s District XIII Ethics Committee and the Sidney Reitman Employment Law Inn of Court.
Collins received his J.D., cum laude, from Seton Hall University School of Law in 1983 and his B.S. from Glassboro State College in 1979.